The Expert Guide To Makers' Markets
So, you've created a beautiful range of products to sell - what next? Artisan makers' markets are one of the best places to sell your handmade creations, but I know it can be daunting if you've never done it before. I used to sell hand-dyed yarn and I remember being really confused when I was preparing for my first markets - it was very much trial and error! Well, thanks to our friends at Pedddle, you're in safe hands! We spoke to founder Nicki to get her top tips and expert advice to help you make the most of selling at a market.
This feature is sponsored by
To support small craft businesses and passionate makers, the UK’s best known and loved arts and crafts retailer has created Hobbycraft Plus. This unique subscription service offers discounts across the Hobbycraft range, an upgrade to next day delivery plus support and advice in the form of expert seminars. Topics include PR, social media, marketing, customer service and even TikTok!
A Hobbycraft Plus subscription costs £80 per year and includes a 15% discount* every time you shop in store and online, upgrade to next day delivery when you spend over £25 (saving £5.95 each time), three seminars focused on helping to grow a craft business (worth £30 each), access to bulk purchases and a range of packaging, seasonal newsletters, regular updates and even opportunities to be featured in Hobbycraft marketing.
Hobbycraft worked closely with key players in the crafting community to create the subscription, including Pedddle, who make it easier than ever for independent businesses to find creative markets where they can connect with customers.
Read on for top tips from Pedddle founder Nicki, to help small craft businesses maximise their festive potential at Christmas markets this year!
Hobbycraft Plus launched in partnership with Untld Project, a PR, marketing and social media agency specialising in supporting creative, crafty and independent brands. Hobbycraft is also working closely with industry experts Folksy and Pedddle, who will offer special discounts to Hobbycraft Plus subscribers!
*Excludes digital craft machines, printers, sewing machines, Made to Measure Patterns, workshops, subscriptions and gift cards.
Finding the right markets to sell at
Start Your Research Early
Look online and use Pedddle or alternative sites to find events. Finding markets can be tricky and I would try to allocate 6-8 months before a date to start searching (if not before). The best markets get booked up very quickly and you might have to be very patient to get a spot.
Visit As A Customer
Visit the markets first before applying. This allows you to check the customers are your ideal audience and that the market vibe suits yours!
Get To Know The Organisers
Engage with the organisers - connect with them on social media and join their newsletter. This is really useful for organisers to get to know your business, and you can learn more about their advertising and markets too.
Do your research - make sure your products are suitable and you have the right stock at a market. Check what other products are on offer at the event and decide where to place yourself. Do you take smaller items or high ticket products?
Show Your Best Side Online
Make sure you give off the right message to the organisers in places like social media and your website or online marketplace. Keep these well looked-after as organisers will look at these and make a judgement on your business. You don’t want to put an organiser off before you have even had a chance to apply!
...and optimising your outcome at those markets
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation!
Prepare your stall, plan your stock, have everything packed the night before, check where you are going and parking, know how you are unloading. All these things will help you to be less anxiety-filled on the morning of an event. Also, prepare content for social media on the day. If it’s busy you rarely have time to post but it’s great practice to do that! Have what you want to say in your notes and then it will be easier to post even in busy periods.
Think "Height, Light, Sight"
Now it's time to set up your stall, you need to get to grips with the stall basics - height, light, sight. Make sure you have height on your stall - it makes it more interesting. Ensure you have lights as inside stalls can be dark but late night stalls are also a problem and in winter months, even daytime stalls can be gloomy. Battery operated lights are great to have! Finally, sight - your best-sellers should be in plain sight and usually eye level. Your logo must be clear too - we don’t need wordy banners but a good sized logo is a great way to get attention and make it clear what you business is. Again, if you can put this at eye level it definitely benefits your brand awareness.
Think Beyond Market Day
See your market day as more than just an on-the-day sales opportunity. Markets are a great opportunity to talk about what you are doing and where you are going. Looking at it as a marketing proposition rather than solely about the sales will help you to enjoy it more too. It’s also content for your social media so use it to the best of your ability!
Take this opportunity to collect feedback and information. Being in front of your customer is the perfect time to help grow your email list. Maybe use some form of technique to entice the customers over like a giveaway to encourage them to sign up - these are people who enjoy handmade products and you can sell to them down the line. Watch closely to how customers interact with your stall - It’s such a great use of your time being out at markets.
Take Advantage of Pedddle
Become a Pedddle member to virtually check in to the markets. This will mean that customers can find you for up to 6 months after an event on the market page and it helps customers to make a re-purchase and link directly to your business online.